Wanamaker Organ Daily Concerts
A Philadelphia Tradition Maintained Continuously Since 1911
Twice a day, six days a week, a switch is thrown, and nine massive blowers breathe life into the gigantic wind machinery of the world’s largest playing pipe organ. Its silken sound summons people from all over the planet.
Here is the current schedule for regular twice-daily 45-minute recitals:
Monday through Saturday at 12 noon
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday at 5:30 pm
Wednesday and Friday at 7 pm
Visitors are welcome to tour the console (Floor Two), the command center of the Organ, and meet the staff following the daily concerts, health conditions permitting.
A visitor film and brochures are at our kiosk outside the organ loft,
together with a video feed of the console during performances.
We regret that the Wanamaker Organ is not played on Sundays.
Please visit our HOME PAGE for specifics on any Special Concerts that may also be referenced below under the Daily Performer Schedule. We update current concert information more frequently on the Home Page.
Daily concerts are free and are a part of the Macy’s shopping experience. Concerts are held every calendar day except Sundays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The evening concert is frequently NOT held on Christmas Eve or on New Year’s Eve. On rare occasions, daily concerts are pre-empted by special events such as fashion shows.
In between daily concerts, an informational presentation is available on our Visitor Kiosk outside the console. Hit the stop tablet marked Roman Numeral I to play the Visitor Orientation Film. Or you may view it HERE. Wanamaker Organ merchandise is sold at the Macy’s Information Desk on the First Floor.
Scroll down to see a link to our Visitors Guide with tips on food, lodging and amenities.
Daily Organ Concert – Frequent Performers
Because these concerts are a daily feature of the Macy’s shopping experience (a tradition that has been unbroken since 1911), no reservations or tickets are needed. Pieces played on any given occasion are at the discretion of the performer and are not known in advance.
DAILY PERFORMING ARTISTS: In addition to Macy’s Grand Court Organist Peter Richard Conte, his roster of Assistant Grand Court Organists includes Emily Amos, Mark Bani, Jeremy Flood, Fred Haas, Rudy Lucente and Aaron Patterson.
Daily concerts are free and are held in the huge Grand Court of the Macy’s Philadelphia department store. Visitors unfamiliar with the Store should know that no tickets or reservations are required.
Although we get many requests from incredibly talented people, we very much regret that visiting organists are NOT permitted to take part in daily performances. Please do not contact us with requests to play. Thank you in advance for your understanding.
2022 Wanamaker Organ Special Concert Season TBA
Wanamaker Organ Day is Saturday June 4, 2022, and includes a full day of mainly free activities, tours and concerts, plus a ticketed Grand Evening Concert! Legendary organist Dorothy Papadakos (St. John the Divine: 1990-’03) joins Peter Richard Conte for our ticketed Grand Evening Concert. Plans call for Dorothy to play a tribute to Hollywood andBroadway, do an Improvisation, do a homage to Duke Ellington and play a four-hand arrangement with Peter Richard Conte. Peter, meanwhile, has another of his blockbuster transcriptions on tap from Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier! For Evening Concert Day Tickets please click on the banner below!
Wanamaker Organ Day June 4 is a full day of music, free tours and presentations that also includes a spectacular free Platinum Jubilee salute to Queen Elizabeth II featuring a massed choir, tympani and brass ensemble (5 p.m.). (The Wanamaker Organ was dedicated at the exact time Britain’s King George V was crowned in June 1911.) Experience the regal majesty and choral glory of a Westminster Abbey coronation tribute right here in Philadelphia’s Grand Court!
The day begins with a showing of the latest Wanamaker Organ Yearbook in Greek Hall, beginning at 9 a.m. Assemble in the Juniper Street Lobby.
That is followed Sat. at 11 a.m. with a special concert featuring Peter Richard Conte’s extremely talented Assistant Grand Court Organists, all of whom are past masters at showcasing all the bells and whistles of the complicated Wanamaker Organ at its very best. Look for Emily Amos, Mark Bani, Jeremy Flood, Rudy Lucente, Aaron Patterson and Dylan David Shaw!
Next at 2 p.m.Nathan Avakian makes a not-to-be-missed musical presentation at our Wurlitzer in Greek Hall. Included are some special silent-film shorts by aspiring filmmakers that are some of the cleverest and most engaging homages to early filmmaking we have yet seen. Concert selections include Disney, rock and pop and even some remixed classics! This concert is held in memory of Bob Dilworth. A small admission fee is collected at the Greek Hall door.
Plans are also in the works for free special events Friday June 3 (daily concerts at noon and 7 p.m. and shop and chamber tours) and Sunday June 5 (a free chamber tour). Mark your calendars now!
An Organ-Orchestra Concert with Symphony in C is planned for October 8, 2022. Details to come!
Please consult our home page for the latest special concert news, as this page is updated infrequently. For Yuletide concert information please see our Christmas Light Show page.
Macy’s Center City Philadelphia daily store hours are here. The Store and Organ are at 13th and Market Streets in downtown Philadelphia, next to City Hall. Rest rooms are on the Third Floor, 13th Street.
Producing Special Concerts in a department store is both a delight and a challenge. As our website has evolved, we have found it useful to put special concert information directly on our home page. This is especially true because our special concert schedule is dependent on the release of Macy’s quarterly sales schedule, and as a result we generally only have six to eight weeks of notice from the time a date is granted until the event itself. We therefore give it the utmost prominence on the website and update it more often.
The approximate annual pattern of Friends of the Wanamaker Organ special events is a Spring afternoon concert, a post-Memorial Day Wanamaker Organ Day festival with ticketed evening concert, a Fall concert (almost always in the evening and ticketed) and a Christmas concert, generally on a Sunday afternoon or evening after Thanksgiving. Wurlitzer events are often held in conjunction with Wanamaker Organ Day and sometimes our Fall concert. The Wurlitzer is also sometimes played during the Christmas season for people waiting to get in the Dickens Christmas Village.
During the Christmas season the Wanamaker Organ is covered with a scrim that slightly affects its sound. The noon concerts generally follow the 7-minute Light Show. Most of the Friends of the Wanamaker Organ special concerts are geared to warmer months when humidity in the air dramatically increases the presence of the organ in the room, and when tuning tends to be more stable. Also by not holding many special events in the winter we are able to avoid being snowed out. Publication of our newsletters tends to follow the concert schedule, so that members can have timely information on our presentations.
Please consult the top of our home page of Wanamakerorgan.com for breaking developments. All members receive timely concert information through our quarterly newsletter, The Stentor, as well, and receive discounts on ticket purchases to certain special events.
Kimmel Center Organ Concerts
Kimmel Center organ concerts are another beloved Philadelphia music tradition.
The Fred J. Cooper Organ at Verizon Hall, home to the Philadelphia Orchestra. For the latest organ-concertinformation, please click here! We have been given to understand that tickets to some events may receive a discount when the word Wanamaker is input in the appropriate field!
- You may connect with the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ on Facebook here!
- An entertaining highlights film on Kimmel Center Organ Day 2013 is here!
- Listen to the Fred J. Cooper organ at the Kimmel Center on MPR’s Pipedreams here!